March 8 2016 06:44 AM

While city cousins may think we just rolled out of bed, nothing could be further from the truth on the farm.

I think we can all agree that dairy farming goes beyond being just an occupation. It's a lifestyle choice that trickles all the way down to the tiny details that are just unique and normal to this way of life. When we step outside of the industry, I'm often reminded of just how different our normal really is.

I was running late for preschool pick up. We've entered the school age with our oldest son, who his daddy and I have dubbed "Little Farmer." This new time in our lives comes with a whole other shake up in the schedule. So far we've managed it well, and the 10-minute drive into town is actually a nice change of scenery from the farm setting. My real wake up to that change came the day I was running late.

In a rush from the barn, I stripped our youngest, "Littler Farmer," out of his Udder Tech bib overalls and plopped him in his car seat. I managed to find a change of jeans that didn't have manure on them and we were on our way. When we arrived, story time was going a little long and so we weren't even late, but it allowed for some conversation with the other parents.

"Still in his pajamas today, huh?" another mom noted.

It took me a minute to realize that sure enough Littler Farmer was still in his customary fleece pajamas for morning chores . . . those pajamas had been covered up by his bib overalls, which I had removed earlier. But it in no way meant we were still in our pajamas at noon! Now, don't get me wrong, some days the toddler is still in his pajamas at noon and that's exactly all that happened that day. During the soggy Oregon winter months my boys literally live in fleece pajamas under their waterproof bibs at the barn.

I went on to explain to the other mom that, sure enough, he was still in his pajamas, but he'd also been helping me work all morning.

It was a wake up call that one of those tiny details of this life that is just normal for me was the perfect opportunity to talk about dairy. I'm enjoying bringing farm life to town and sharing it with the other parents.

Those small everyday differences in our life that truly are a reflection of the dairy lifestyle we lead should be embraced and shared. So farm on, even if it's in your pajamas!
Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of two young boys who round out the family run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and is in the process of transitioning to a robotic milking system.